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Letters to the Editor: Oct. 12, 2018

Fires caused by more than climate

Re: “Guest editorial: Here out West, ‘smoke season’ keeps getting worse” [Volume 24, Issue 9 or bit.ly/2RfiWe3]

I just read the article “Here out West, ‘smoke season’ keeps getting worse.” First, I am not a climate change denier. I am a good steward of the earth. I am a naturalist, I recycle, I use energy wisely and pick up trash almost daily in my community so it doesn’t flow into the ocean.

Most people I know approach their lives in this manner. However, the average person takes blanket statements in articles like this about wildfires, climate change and sea levels rising as fact. This bothers me to no end. Why can’t we have an honest and civil conversation about why wildfires are occurring more often?

I did a simple research on the internet to find certain factors that affect the increase of wildfires and one of them is higher temperatures. But, generally, scientists struggle with linking wildfires exclusively to warming because so many factors contribute to their occurrence. Less timber harvesting may have an effect; land use change and management has had a profound effect; and human beings causing more fires in California than any other western state were facts I gleaned through internet searches, but not easily.

I also agree it would be far cheaper to prevent and mitigate climate change now, like the article stated, but the truth is, it is not exclusively linked to “the climate crisis.” This is not the only factor.

This article also states that we cannot simply leave it up to individuals and the market to prevent this outcome. I disagree. I truly believe in the power of the individual to make change in this country, but if the issues are always based in politics and forcing people to change their habits and beliefs based only on chosen facts, how can we come up with productive and solid solutions together?

I hope that in the future, we can eventually move away from this divisive culture, give all individuals easy access to all the facts pertinent to the issue, and have productive conversations on all sides of the fence.

—Bill Schmid, San Diego

More MAD history

Re: “Letters” [Volume 24, Issue 9 or bit.ly/2NSKXtG]

Mr. Rawlins, in response to my letter, not surprisingly reacted exactly as expected, claiming that once the Del Cerro maintenance assessment district (MAD) is established, [it will enhance the quality of life and improve property values]. It is apparent, that [he has] not spoken with the residents in Golden Hill, South Park, Barrio Logan and now La Jolla — let us not forget Liberty Station. They all have a much different view and have not experienced the success that [he refers] to. And let me point out a little history about Del Cerro.

Del Cerro was established about 1957, 61 to 62 years ago by the developers of Jackson and Scott. Maintenance assessment districts did not come into existence until 1978, the same year that the voters of California passed proposition 13, a landmark decision that saved millions of homeowners from losing their homes. Most MADs are established by the developers not homeowners.

And may I point out that there have been 10 new communities established decades ago in the northern part of the city of San Diego after Del Cerro was completed.

I have noted in many of [Mr. Rawlins’] writings that [he] often speaks of the negatives of Del Cerro and I paraphrase: “now 60 years later, our community looks tired compared to the communities that have maintenance districts.”

Again, I would like to point out that the community of La Jolla has had a MAD for five years. What improvements have they seen? Out of frustration and a lack of improvements, homeowners of La Jolla hired an attorney to bring a lawsuit against the city of San Diego to have their MAD dissolved, a decision has been handed down but appeals have been filed and the city is patiently waiting for the decision of the appellate court.

[Rawlins is], of course, entitled to look forward to what [his] vision of the community of Del Cerro should look like and, of course, if a MAD is established and the improvements are made to the medians in front of [his] home on the east end of Del Cerro Boulevard and the home of Mr. Thomas, [his] chief of staff whose home is on the west end of Del Cerro Boulevard, [their] property values will certainly be enhanced. And when, or if, improvements are made to Princess Del Sol Park, which is within walking distance from Mr. McSweeney’s and Mr. Wilson’s homes, I’m sure that their property values will be enhanced.

But what improvements will the rest of the community of Del Cerro realize?

—Joe Ney, Del Cerro

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